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Complete List of Performing Arts Colleges in California

Posted by Dora Seigel | Sep 8, 2019 10:30:00 AM

College Info

 

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If the stage calls your name, and you're interested in pursuing a degree in one of the performing arts (theatre/dance/music) in California, then this article is for you. I've compiled a comprehensive list of all of the universities and conservatory programs in California that offer performing arts degrees (Bachelor’s, Master’s, and Doctorate’s).

 

How to Use This Article

I recommend using this article as a jumping off point to do more research on which performing arts schools are right for you. If you need help with how to identify What College Should You Go To? How to Choose a College, check out our other article. Consider what you are looking for in a performing arts college:

  • Are you looking for a conservatory? Or are you looking at a program at a four-year university with other non-art related majors?
  • Do you want to be in a city or a small town?
  • Do you want a big or small program?
  • Do you want a BA, BM or BFA? MA or MFA?
  • How much can you afford to spend? Will you get financial aid?

In this article, I'll list every school, location, tuition price, and degree programs offered. I am only including schools that offer Bachelor’s Degrees or higher. I have included the degrees because the schools offered varied performing arts degrees (this way you can find the school that offers the degree you want).

Each school offers a slightly different curriculum for their specific performing arts degree, so I encourage you to click on the links for the major to explore the curriculum for that specific program at that school. First, here is the list of schools (scroll further down for the list of schools plus the location, tuition price, and degree information):

 

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List of Performing Arts School in California in Alphabetical Order

American Academy of Dramatic Arts

Location: Los Angeles, CA

Tuition: $35,440 per year

Degree Programs:

  • Associate of Occupational Studies: Two-Year Program
  • Certificate of Advanced Studies in Acting: For Third Year, after completing Associate
  • BA or BFA Degree: offered in conjunction with these universities

    • St. John's University: students who complete their two-year AOS (Associate in Occupational Studies) degree may transfer up to 60 credits toward a Bachelor of Science degree in Television and Film Studies at St. John’s University.

    • Hunter College: Students entering Hunter with an AOS degree from The Academy will receive 27 credits toward a Bachelor of Arts degree in Theatre at Hunter College.

    • Antioch University Los Angeles: Academy students can enter Antioch with as much as half of their coursework toward a BA in Acting and Dramatic Arts degree completion. Students who complete one year at The Academy may also transfer their coursework credits of C- or better. The Academy Alumni are also eligible to participate under the terms of this agreement.

    • Oklahoma City University: Students complete the full-time Conservatory Program at The Academy in New York City or Los Angeles and transfer to OCU in Oklahoma City for their last two years to receive a BFA in Acting.

 

American Conservatory Theater

Location: San Francisco, CA

Tuition: $30,235 per year

Degree Programs:

  • MFA in Acting

 

Azusa Pacific University

Location: Azusa, CA

Tuition: $39,640 per year

Degree Programs:

  • BA in Theatre Arts
  • BFA in Acting for the Stage and Screen

 

California Institute of the Arts

Location: Valencia, CA

Tuition: $50,850 per year

Degree Programs:

  • BFA in Dance
  • MFA in Choreography
  • BFA, MFA, DMA in Music Performer-Composer
  • BFA and MFA in Music Composition
  • BFA and MFA in Jazz Studies
  • BFA and MFA in Winds
  • BFA and MFA in Brass
  • BFA and MFA in Percussion
  • BFA and MFA in Guitar
  • BFA and MFA in Harp
  • BFA and MFA in Piano/Keyboard
  • BFA and MFA in Strings
  • MFA in African Music and Dance Program
  • MFA in Balinese and Javanese Music and Dance Program
  • MFA in North Indian Music Program
  • MFA in World Percussion Program
  • BFA in World Music Program
  • BFA and MFA in Music Technology Program: Interaction, Intelligence and Design
  • BFA in Musical Arts Program
  • BFA and MFA in Voice Arts
  • BFA and MFA in Acting Program
  • MFA in Directing Program
  • MFA in Writing for Performance Program
  • BFA and MFA in Scene Design Program
  • BFA and MFA in Costume Design Program
  • BFA and MFA in Lighting Design Program
  • BFA and MFA in Sound Design Program
  • BFA and MFA in Technical Direction Program
  • BFA and MFA in Management Program

 

California Baptist University

Location: Riverside, CA

Tuition: $32,942 per year

Degree Programs:

  • BA in Theatre
  • BM in Composition
  • BM in Instrumental Performance
  • PM in Keyboard Accompanying
  • BM in Music Education
  • BM in Piano Performance
  • BM in Vocal Performance
  • BM in Commercial Performance
  • BM in Studio Production

 

California Lutheran University

Location: Thousand Oaks, CA

Tuition: $43,900 per year

Degree Programs:

  • BA in Church Music
  • BA in Composition
  • BA in Music Education
  • BA in Music Technology
  • BA Musical Theatre
  • BA in Performance
  • BA in Technical Theatre

 

Chapman University

Location: Orange, CA

Tuition: $27,270 per year

Degree Programs:

  • BA in Dance
  • BA in Music
  • BA in Theatre
  • BFA in Dance Performance
  • BFA in Theatre Performance
  • BM in Music in Composition
  • BM in Music in Performance

 

CSU, Chico

Location: Chico, CA

Tuition: $7,806 per year (additional charge of $394 per unit for non-California residents)

Degree Programs:

  • BA in Theatre
  • BA in Musical Theatre
  • BA in General Music
  • BA in Recording Arts
  • BA in Music Industry

 

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CSU, East Bay

Location: East Bay, CA

Tuition: $96,984 per year (additional charge of $394 per unit for non-California residents)

Degree Programs:

  • BA in Acting
  • BA in Dance
  • BA in Musical Theatre
  • BA in Theater and Dance for Children and Community

 

CSU, Fresno

Location: Fresno, CA

Tuition: $6585 per year (additional charge of $394 per unit for non-California residents)

Degree Programs:

  • BA in Music
  • MA in Music
  • BA in Theatre Arts
  • BA in Theatre Arts (Dance Option)

 

CSU, Fullerton

Location: Fullerton, CA

Tuition: $6,890 per year (additional charge of $394 per unit for non-California residents)

Degree Programs:

  • BA in Theatre Arts
  • BFA in Theatre Arts
  • MFA in Theatre Arts
  • BA in Dance
  • MFA in Acting
  • MFA in Musical Theatre
  • MFA in Design & Technical Production & Direction

 

CSU, Long Beach

Location: Long Beach, CA

Tuition: Undergraduate $5,742 (additional charge of $394 per unit for non-California residents)

Degree Programs:

  • Bachelor of Arts in Dance
  • Bachelor of Arts in Dance – Option in Dance Science
  • Bachelor of Fine Arts in Dance
  • Master of Arts in Dance
  • Master of Fine Arts in Dance
  • Bachelor of Arts in Theatre Arts
  • Master of Fine Arts in Theatre Arts Information
  • Master of Fine Arts in Theatre Arts – Option in Acting
  • Master of Fine Arts in Theatre Arts – Option in Technical Theatre/Design
  • Master of Fine Arts in Theatre Arts – Option in Theatre Management
  • Master of Business Administration/Master of Fine Arts in Theatre Management
  • Bachelor of Arts in Music
  • Bachelor of Music – Music Education: Instrumental Music and Choral-Vocal Music Options
  • Bachelor of Music – Option in Instrumental Music
  • Bachelor of Music – Option in Choral-Vocal Music
  • Bachelor of Music – Options in Performance, Composition and History & Literature Information
  • Bachelor of Music – Option in Performance
  • Bachelor of Music – Option in Composition
  • Bachelor of Music – Option in History and Literature
  • Master of Arts in Music
  • Master of Music Degree

 

CSU, LA

Location: LA, CA

Tuition: $7,622 (additional charge of $394 per unit for non-California residents)

Degree Programs:

  • BA in Music
  • BA in Theatre Arts and Dance
  • BA in Theatre Arts Option
  • BA in Dance Option
  • BA in Theatre Arts and Dance Minor
  • BM in Composition Option
  • BM in Jazz Studies Option
  • BM in Vocal Performance Option
  • BM in Instrumental Performance Option
  • BM in Keyboard Performance Option
  • BM in Music Education Option
  • BM in Commercial Music Option
  • BM in Credential Program
  • MA in Music
  • MA in Theatre Arts and Dance
  • MFA in Acting
  • MFA in Dramatic Writing

 

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CSU, Northridge

Location: Northridge, CA

Tuition: $5,742 (additional charge of $394 per unit for non-California residents)

Degree Programs:

  • BA in Music Education
  • BA in Music Industry Studies
  • BA in Music Therapy
  • BA in Breadth Studies in Music
  • BM in Orchestral Strings Performance
  • BM in Classical Guitar Performance
  • BM in Winds & Brass Performance
  • BM in Percussion Performance
  • BM in Keyboard Performance (piano and organ)
  • BM in Vocal Arts
  • BM in Composition
  • BM in Commercial and Media Writing
  • BM in Jazz Studies
  • MA in Music Industry Administration
  • MM in Composition
  • MM in Conducting (choral or instrumental)
  • MM in Collaborative Piano
  • MM in Instrumental
  • MM in Organ
  • MM in Piano
  • MM in Voice
  • DMA
  • BA and MA in Theatre

 

CSU, Stanislaus

Location: Stanislaus, CA

Tuition: $7,542 (additional charge of $394 per unit for non-California residents)

Degree Programs:

  • BM in Music Education - Choral
  • BM in Music Education - Instrumental
  • BM in Instrumental Performance
  • BM in Jazz Performance
  • BM in Piano Performance
  • BM in Vocal Performance
  • BM in Composition
  • BA in General Music
  • BA in Music Technology
  • BA in Theatre

 

Dominican University

Location: San Rafael, CA

Tuition: $46,260

Degree Programs:

  • BA in Music
  • BFA in Dance

 

Humboldt State University

Location: Arcata, CA

Tuition: $7,863 per year

Degree Programs:

  • BA in Composition Option
  • BA in Education Option
  • BA in Music Studies Option
  • BA in Performance – Instrumental Emphasis
  • BA in Performance – Guitar Emphasis
  • BA in Performance – Piano Emphasis
  • BA in Performance – Vocal Emphasis
  • BA in Theatre Arts

 

Mills College

Location: Oakland, CA

Tuition: $29,340 per year

Degree Programs:

  • BA in Theatre Arts

 

Occidental College

Location: Los Angeles, CA

Tuition: $55,980 per year

Degree Programs:

  • BA in Music
  • BA in Theatre 

 

Pepperdine University

Location: Los Angeles, CA

Tuition: $55,640 per year

Degree Programs:

  • BA in Music
  • BA in Theatre Arts
  • BA in Theatre and Screen Arts
  • BA in Theatre and Music

 

Pomona College

Location: Claremont, CA

Tuition: $54,380 per year

Degree Programs:

  • BA in Dance
  • BA in Theatre 

 

San Diego State University

Location: San Diego, CA

Tuition: $8,944 per year

Degree Programs:

  • BFA in Dance
  • BFA in Dance (BFA)
  • BA in Dance (BA)
  • BM in Composition
  • BM in Jazz Studies
  • BM in Music Education
  • BM in Performance
  • BM in Professional Studies
  • BM in Professional Studies: Music Entrepreneurship and Business
  • BM in Professional Studies: Music Recording Technology and Audio Design
  • Bachelor of Arts in Music
  • MA in Ethnomusicology (currently not accepting applications)
  • MA in Musicology (currently not accepting applications)
  • MA in Music Theory (currently not accepting applications)
  • MA in Piano Pedagogy (currently not accepting applications)
  • MM in Performance
  • MM in Composition
  • MM in Conducting
  • MM in Jazz Studies
  • BA in Theatre Arts
  • MA in Theatre
  • MFA In Design and Technical Theatre
  • MFA In Musical Theatre

 

San Francisco State University

Location: San Francisco, CA

Tuition: Undergraduate $6,476 per year (Resident), Graduate $7,742 per year (Resident) (an extra $372 per unit for non-California residents)

Degree Programs:

  • BM Music
  • BA in Music
  • MA in Music
  • MM Music
  • BA in Dance
  • BA in Drama
  • MA in Drama
  • MFA in Theatre Arts

 

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San Jose State University

Location: San Jose, CA

Tuition: $6096 per year (additional charge of $396 per unit for non-California residents)

Degree Programs:

  • BA in Music
  • BM in Bachelor of Music, Concentration in Composition
  • BM in Bachelor of Music, Concentration in Performance
  • BM in Bachelor of Music, Concentration in Music Education
  • BA in Creative Arts (Interdepartmental)
  • BA in Dance
  • BFA in Dance
  • MA in Music
  • BA in Theatre Arts
  • BA in Theatre Arts, Preparation for Teaching
  • MA in Theatre Arts

 

Sonoma State University

Location: Rohnert Park, CA

Tuition: $34,454 per year

Degree Programs:

  • BA in Acting
  • BA in Dance
  • BA in Tech Theatre
  • BA in Theatre Arts

 

Stanford University

Location: Stanford, CA

Tuition: $50,703 per year

Degree Programs:

  • BA in Theatre & Performance Studies
  • Ph.D. in Theatre & Performance Studies
  • BA in Music
  • MA in Music, Science and Technology
  • Ph.D. Musicology
  • Ph.D. Computer-Based Music Theory and Acoustics

 


University of California, Berkeley

Location: Berkeley, CA

Tuition: $14,254 (California resident) $44,008 (non-resident)

Degree Programs:

  • BA Music
  • MA/Ph.D. or Ph.D. in composition and scholarship
  • BA Theatre & Performance Studies
  • BA Dance & Performance Studies
  • MA/Ph.D. in Performance Studies

 

University of California, Davis

Location: Davis, CA

Tuition: $14,490 (California resident) $44,244 (non-resident)

Degree Programs:

  • BA in Theatre & Dance
  • BA in Music
  • Ph.D. in Musicology
  • Ph.D. in Ethnomusicology
  • MA in Conducting
  • Ph.D. in Composition and Theory
  • MA/Ph.D. in Performance Studies
  • MFA in Dramatic Art

 

University of California, Irvine

Location: Irvine, CA

Tuition: $11,442 (California resident) $41,196 (non-resident)

Degree Programs:

  • B.A. Dance
  • B.F.A. Choreography
  • B.F.A. Performance
  • B.A. Drama
  • B.F.A. Music Theatre
  • B.A. Music
  • B.Mus. Performance
  • M.F.A. in Dance
  • M.F.A. in Drama, with emphasis in Acting, Directing, Design or Stage Management
  • Ph.D. in Drama and Theatre
  • M.F.A. in Music with emphasis in Collaborative Piano, Guitar/Lute Performance, Instrumental Performance, Piano Performance, Vocal Arts, Integrated Composition, Improvisation and Technology (ICIT), or Musicology
  • M.A./Ph.D. in Integrated Composition, Improvisation, and Technology (ICIT)

 

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UCLA

Location: Los Angeles, CA

Tuition: $13,239 (California resident) $42,993 (non-resident)

Degree Programs:

  • BA in Theater
  • BA in Music
  • MM and DMA in Performance and Conducting
  • MA and Ph.D. in Composition
  • MFA in Acting
  • MFA in Design for Theatre and Entertainment Media
  • MA in Theatre
  • Ph.D. in Theater and Performance Studies

 

University of California, San Diego

Location: San Diego, CA

Tuition: $14,199 (California resident) $43,191 (non-resident)

Degree Programs:

  • BA in Music
  • BA in Music Humanities
  • BA in ICAM (Interdisciplinary Computing and the Arts - Music)
  • BA Theatre
  • BA Dance
  • BA Theatre & Dance
  • MFA in Acting
  • MFA in Dance Theatre
  • MFA in Design
  • MFA in Directing
  • MFA in Stage Management
  • Ph.D. in Theatre and Drama
  • MA in Music
  • Ph.D. in Music
  • DMA

University of California, Santa Barbara

Location: Santa Barbara, CA

Tuition: $12,570 (California resident) $42,324 (non-resident)

Degree Programs:

  • BA in Theater
  • BA in Dance
  • BFA in Acting
  • BFA in Dance
  • Ph.D. in Theater Studies
  • MA in Theater Studies
  • BA in Music Studies
  • BM in Keyboard
  • BM in Strings
  • BM in Woodwinds
  • BM in Voice
  • BM in Brass
  • BM in Percussion
  • MA and Ph.D. in Composition, Ethnomusicology, Musicology, and Theory.
  • MM and DMA in Conducting, Keyboard, Piano Accompanying, Strings, Voice, and Woodwinds, Brass and Percussion.

University of California, Santa Cruz

Location: Santa Cruz, CA

Tuition: $13,989 (California resident) $43,743 (non-resident)

Degree Programs:

  • Music: M.A., D.M.A., Ph.D.
  • Theater Arts: M.A.
  • BA or BM in Music
  • BA in Theater Arts

 

University of San Diego

Location: San Diego, CA

Tuition: $50,450 per year

Degree Programs:

  • BA in Music
  • BA in Theatre Arts and Performance Studies
  • MFA in Dramatic Arts

 

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University of Southern California

Location: Los Angeles, CA

Tuition: $55,320 per year

Degree Programs:

  • BFA in Dance
  • BA in Theatre
  • BFA in Acting
  • BFA in Design
  • BFA in Sound Design
  • BFA in Stage Management
  • BFA in Technical Direction
  • BA in Visual & Performing Arts
  • MFA in Acting
  • MFA in Dramatic Writing
  • BA in Choral Music
  • MM in Choral Music
  • MM in Sacred Music
  • DMA in Choral Music
  • DMA in Sacred Music
  • BA in Music (Guitar)
  • BM in Performance (Guitar)
  • MM in Performance (Guitar)
  • GCRT Performance (Guitar)
  • DMA in Performance (Guitar)
  • BM in Composition
  • MM in Composition
  • DMA in Composition
  • MM Keyboard Performance
  • DMA in Keyboard Performance
  • BA Music – Piano
  • BM in Piano Performance
  • MM in Piano Performance
  • DMA in Piano Performance
  • BA in Organ Music
  • BM in Performance
  • MM in Performance
  • DMA in Performance
  • BA in Strings Music
  • BM in Double Bass Performance
  • BM in Harp Performance
  • BM in Violin, Viola and Cello Performance
  • MM in Strings Performance
  • DMA in Strings Performance
  • BA in Vocal Arts Music
  • BM in Vocal Performance
  • MM in Vocal Performance
  • DMA in Vocal Performance
  • BA in Winds and Percussion Music
  • BM in Winds and Percussion Performance
  • MM in Winds and Percussion Performance
  • DMA in Winds and Percussion Performance
  • BA in Jazz Studies Bachelor of Arts
  • BM in Jazz Studies
  • MM in Jazz Studies
  • DMA in Jazz Studies Performance
  • BA in Popular Music Performance
  • MM in Studio Jazz Guitar Performance
  • DMA in Studio Jazz Guitar Performance
  • MA in Early Music Performance
  • DMA in Performance in Early Music Performance
  • Ph.D. in Musicology

 

What’s Next?

Learn more about acing the SAT and ACT to help you get into a performing arts college. Check out our ultimate SAT study guide and learn how to cram for the ACT.

Interested in performing arts colleges in other places? Check out our list of performing arts colleges in New York!

Thinking about getting a job while in high school? Check out our guide to the 8 best jobs for teens and learn how to find yours!

 

Want to improve your SAT score by 160 points or your ACT score by 4 points? We've written a guide for each test about the top 5 strategies you must be using to have a shot at improving your score. Download it for free now:

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Dora Seigel
About the Author

As an SAT/ACT tutor, Dora has guided many students to test prep success. She loves watching students succeed and is committed to helping you get there. Dora received a full-tuition merit based scholarship to University of Southern California. She graduated magna cum laude and scored in the 99th percentile on the ACT. She is also passionate about acting, writing, and photography.



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